There is a notion growing that the New York Jets could trade their perceived franchise quarterback, Sam Darnold, for something a little shinier.
The Jets are very much in the running for the No. 1 overall pick of the 2021 NFL Draft after starting the season 0-5 with little semblance of competitive spirit.
With the dysfunction that has come under Adam Gase, chances increase week-by-week that Gang Green will possess the worst record in the NFL. The reward for that is the opportunity to draft Clemson passer Trevor Lawrence — considered a generational talent — with the first selection of next year’s draft.
That would mean Darnold becomes expendable, which would certainly be a shrewd move less than four years after taking him third overall in the 2019 draft. Even more so when you consider a lost front office has done nothing to surround him with legitimate offensive weapons or a head coach that can help properly develop his professional game.
In the four games before his shoulder injury sidelined him for Week 5 against the Cardinals, Darnold showed no semblance of improvement — which has plenty to do with a lackluster supporting cast and poor coaching staff that has left him high and dry. He’s completed just 59.4% of his passes for 792 yards with three touchdowns and four interceptions.
The very same Cardinals that beat down the Jets 30-10 on Sunday afternoon have shown that such a decision isn’t impossible. After drafting Josh Rosen later on in that first round of the 2018 draft, they used the No. 1 pick in 2019 to take Kyler Murray, who usurped Rosen as the new franchise quarterback of the future in Arizona.
Granted, Darnold’s ceiling is higher than Rosen’s, the Jets would get similar compensation as to what Arizona received when they dealt their once-promising prospect.
Per ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Jets likely wouldn’t get a No. 1 pick for Darnold, but more likely a second and fifth-rounder like the Dolphins gave the Cardinals for Rosen.
Regardless of who is under center for the Jets, though, a real coaching staff and an actual supporting cast of offensive talent are vital to the success of the passer, no matter how highly-touted they come.